Audio-Technica AT-LP120USBHC Turntable

A name that is well-known to vinyl enthusiasts, Audio-Technica has existed for many years. It's certainly moved with all the times and created this bash up-to-date program that includes its AT95E moving magnet cartridge, a built-in phono stage which can be plugged directly into any line-level input or can be circumvented when used with equipment which has a moving magnet phono input period. There is also a USB output signal to connect it into a computer for digitising LPs 16-bit/44kHz or 48kHz, and it comes bundled with all the necessary cables and open-source recording applications to digitise your vinyl. The turntable has a fine, solid feel and features a removable hinged acrylic dust cover.

The LP120's quartz-controlled direct-drive DC turntable motor has 33, 45 and 78rpm speeds selectable via push buttons, along with inverse mode for absolutely any budding DJs. The mat that is furnished is a case mat, but this can easily be changed for another one if desired, like a cork and foam or rubber option. Another nice feature is a nifty pop up Target Light to illuminate the cartridge at the beginning of the LP. This will be really helpful in cueing perhaps or in dim lighting conditions, to assist if your eyesight wants a little help.

The tonearm has a removable headshell with an SME connector that is typical . A reputable AT95e cartridge is supplied and features a double magnet design fitted with the elliptical diamond stylus. A good strategy could be to purchase another headshell and fit a suitable cartridge in that.

Sound quality

The deck is quite easy to set up and the speed is spot on when viewed with the built-in strobe. Starting off together with the Borodin, the full orchestra sounds quite agreeable, although a little restrained. Swapping the AT95E cartridge using the Goldring 2400 doesn't make a substantial difference, so I plug the deck into the moving magnet phono stage input of the Exposure amp and bypass the internal phono amp. Immediately, this development and the orchestra blossoms remains when I re-install the cartridge that is AT95E. This is a great small cartridge that actually comes alive having a phono stage that is good.

The vocals come across as relaxed and warm and the Simon and Garfunkel recording exemplifies this. Bridge Over Troubled Water is wonderful and clear without any sense of sibilance.

A really comfortable and warm demo is given by the LP120 with Miles Davis, even though the hi-hats are a little recessed using the internal phono stage of the LP120.

Finally, the Laurent Garnier pounding bass line extended and well turns out to be punchy and the ATLP120USBHC definitely appears at home with heavy techno music.

Audio-Technica AT-LP120USBHC Turntable photo